Dave Banks gives a description of the protective suit he wore

Interviewer 1: [00:00:00] Can you just explain the Windscale suit David.

Interviewer 2: [00:00:04] Actually, just talk us through the different protective clothing that you had over the years.

David: [00:00:11] [sighs] Erm…

Interviewer 2: [00:00:14] Presumably Windscale suit, is the…

David: [00:00:16] Primarily at that time you had PVC and dust mask, as it was known. So you had a black rubber respirator and you had a hood that went over the top of it, over your head. You had a PVC suit, which is a one piece plastic overall, and you had surgeon’s boots, which are cut down boots, like hospital surgeons wear, or used to wear. And it’s all taped up around you. So none of the atmosphere you working in can get to, to the separation clothes that you’re wearing. And on your hands, you wear one pair of gloves. The sleeve of the PVC is pulled over that, taped on and then another pair of gloves you put over the top of that. Now, if you’re working on a dirty job or a contaminated job, uh, it was always hammered into us after a while, change your gloves. So you take your gloves off, folding them one inside the other, put them in a bag, put another pair of gloves on. So you’re continually changing your outer pair of gloves all the time and you’re in a pair of gloves for your protection, from your skin. Erm, in line three, we could go in there in PVC and so you had two pair of gloves and then you put your hands in ambidextrous gloves to work inside the glove box. If you had to take the glove box window off, you went in there in Windscale suit and there was one or two other jobs that you would have Windscale suit for as well. And although you’d gone over a barrier to get into the active area, you went to over another barrier in the building to get into the back of line three. And after you got into that, over that barrier, you went through what they call ‘frog showers’, because originally Windscale suits were called ‘frog suits’ for some reason. And so you went through the ‘frog showers’ into line three. Now, when you’re being dressed in a Windscale suit, you’re connected up to a spembly unit, which is…

Interviewer 2: [00:02:34] A what unit?

David: [00:02:35] A spembly unit, like an air filtration unit. And you have a safety man there who looks after your air supply. Now, once he’s dressed you up, you step over the barrier, disconnected from this spembly unit. You walk through the ‘frog shower’ and inside there were three hose reels. Like fire hose reels and you plug yourself into one of those hose rails and you went off down the corridor to do your work.

Interviewer 2: [00:03:02] That was the air line?

David: [00:03:03] That was the airline. And when you came back, you unplugged yourself. You came through the ‘frog showers’ which were then working. You washed each other down with, erm, like the brushes you use for washing your cars, and then you come to the barrier and the safety manual will undress you. And then when he’s taken all the top gear off and he’s pulled your Windscale suit pants down to your knees, you turn around, put your bottom on the barrier, pull your legs out of the the trousers, turn around, put your feet into your shoes, the safety man had put there.

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